tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 16, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
vows in the rose garden. right up to the moment. >> thank you very much everybody. >> they departed the alter they had the podium. ♪ >> jeanie moss. cnn, new york. >> the handshake didn't last very long did it? all right, anderson's next. good evening we begin today with new claims by the president, claims that don't stand up to the light of day. today the president claims that quote, president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls to families of fawn american troops. they did. he claimed that -- he didn't. we keep him honest tonight on both fronts. we begin with the president's launch with a republican he love to needle but needle to getting in undone.
mitch mcconnell. >> we are probably now despite what we read, we're probably now as far as i'm concerned closer than ever before. and the relationship is very good. we're fighting for the same thing. >> that was today. again there is the same mitch mcconnell he's been slamming, lead the very same gop lawmaker he was criticizing two hours earlier today. >> i'm not going to blame myself i'll be honest, they are not getting the job done. we have had healthcare approved, then you had a surprised vote by john mccain. we've had other things happen and they're not getting the job done. >> that criticism came in reaction to his former strategist, gop establishment and his pledged primary republican next year. >> yeah mitch, the donors are not happy we've all left you. we've cut your oxygen off, mitch, okay. >> even as the president echoed
banner's critique he seems to be looking ahead to launch with the established leader. he seem to be trying to have it both ways. >> there are some republicans that should be ashamed of themszs. most of them are really really great people that want to work hard and they want to do a great thing for the american public. but you had a few people that really disappointed us. they really really disappointed us so i can understand how steve bannon feels. >> despite today's positive talk about mcconnell, slamming the establishism. it's been a presidential favorite. last week a phone call between mcconnell and the president has generated into a shouting match. >> talk about your relationship with senator mcconnell. >> i just want him to get repeal and replace done. i've been hearing repeal and
replace now for seven years but i've only been doing this for two years, i've really only been doing this for six months but i've been running. now it's almost two years. all i hear is repeal and replace. and i get there i said where's the bill i want to sign it, first day, and they don't have it. >> when the president isn't talking he's tweeting. mitch, get back to work. put reparalegal and replace for healthcare and infrastructure on my desk so i can sign it, you can do it. majority leader mccounsel for his part has suggested the president was too green to understand the ways of washington. >> no, our new president has not been in this line of work before, and i think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the
democratic process. >> well, to that one the president tweeted. senator mitch mcconnell had i have excessive expectations but i don't think so. after seven years of hearing repeal and replace why not done. today the president seems to be singing a different tune. we'll sigh how this last. >> we're probably now as far as i'm concerned, closer than ever before. and the relationship is very good. just joining us now are amanda carpenter and rick san for rum. the idea that mitch mcconnell and the president are brothers in arms and they're going to save the republican control of congress, it's not that simple. >> no it's not and it's really not real either, aren't son-in-law. this is all the warmt of an arranged marriage and neither one of them like each other. mitch mcconnell won't even talk about the president's tweets.
the president has tweeted a lot about mitch mcconnell. i think that burg this meeting, mccounsel made it clear he was not pleased with what president said in the morning, in which he said, well, i understand steve bannon, there are some republican senators i don't like. mitch mcconnell wants to retain the majority in the senate. he is no fan of steve bannon's and i'm sure that he went in there saying, look. we have to stand together because your guy wants to defeat all the people that are going to keep our senate majority and we need to provide a united front. so, the president said, we're close, we're very very unified in the republican party and of course none of that is true. >> senator senator rum is that true? >> look, you know, donald trump needs mitch mcconnell to be an effective leader and mitch mcconnell needs donald trump to
keep people energized and engaged in the public for what he wants to do. whether they like it or not they need each other to get things done. right now you got tax reform. mitch mcconnell and paul ryan has to put together a good package, because donald trump's not doing it. that's really the missing thing here that nobody talks about. donald trump's right, republicans ran for seven years on repeal and replace, be honest, donald trump didn't come with a package. congress is not really used to being in the role of about nichator of the ideas. they try to take with the president sends them and work with things. it's a very odd relationship, things are up side down. it hasn't worked very well. the republican leadership i agree with donald trump has not done a good job in this new area on trying to be the new leader on policy.
we'll see whether this go around with tax reform will change. >> amy how do you see this? >> i watched the rose garden conference and i just had to laugh. donald trump talks about unity but he's only about donald trump. what i see him doing is playing mitch mcconnell and steve bannon against each other perfectly to president trump's advantage. here's what's going to happen, either mitch mcconnell is going to pass tax reform, repeal obamacare and do something on immigration by primary time next year, or donald trump is going to get steve bannon to sick the dog on mcconnell's men through the primary season. this works out perfectly for donald trump. if we get around to the midterms of 2018 and nothing is done, donald trump will be well within his rights to say send them out we're going to get some strong conservatives and get the job done. >> since his candidate won in alabama, he's been spending a
lot of time out west, because he's trying to recruit candidates there. he's going to appear tomorrow night for kelly ward, who is challenging senator flake, no favorite of donald trump's i might add. he's going to go out there to her first campaign rally. he is continuing to say that he's going to challenge people like brasso and hatch and flake and heller out west. and fischer in nebraska. and brasso, for example is somebody who the president might consider a friend. so maybe the president will get -- you know will get him to back off a little bit. although, bannon sounds like this is his job right now, which is to repeal and replace the republicans worth in the senate, who are the establishment. >> senator, having been in the senate knowing what you do, how much does personality matter? how much does it matter the
personal relationship or lack thereof between the president and mitch mcconnell and paul ryan in terms of getting stuff done? >> look, these folks are pros. mcconnell's been around a long time, put up with a lot of different personalities issues obviously the president is a unique one. he's going to be focused as the speaker on trying to get the agenda pass. i agree with amanda, i think the president's in a great position right now. he is trying to stress to the leader that that, you better feel a sense of urgency in getting these thing done. i got my attack dog out here and he's going to destroy your leadership if you don't deliver for me. i'm sure mitch mcconnell doesn't want to hear that but the reality is, it's going to happen whether donald trump has steve bannon's attack dog or not.
the leadership better start delivering on these big things, or this leadership certainly in the senate and probably in the house is going to be in being trouble come election. >> amanda, does none of it blow back on the president himself if this doesn't get done? >> sure. but he'll have two more additional years before the election campaign to figure that out. donald trump has never shown himself loyal to a previous position, he'll change it on a dime. if he can play this right -- if he doesn't get anything done by the midterms he's going to need a scapegoat. anderson, i have to tell you after being a top staffer to ted cruise cruz i know hue deep the republican base is against mcconnell and he knows it too. it's not the republican congress, it's not paul ryan it is mitch mcconnell. steve bannon is endorsing all
kinds of candidate. people may look at them and say, well, gee what positions do they share? it's probably one thing, they probably pledge to steve bannon that they will be a royal pain to mitch mcconnell and do anything to oust him. that is the ideological task for steve bannon, nothing else. >> what steve bannon is doing is actually helping mitch mcconnell. it creates a sense of urgency for republicans, even modern republicans that like the leadership style of both ryan and mcconnell see that, that is threatened. their ability to be able to influence legislation is going to be threatened if we see a lot of replacement between -- >> but bannon helps trump as well. he can thread the needle when he needs to and sit back now and watch this all play out. >> senator, sarah and amanda
thanks. coming up the president breaks his 12-day silence on american troops. and later the president claims he's getting an a-plus in puerto rico. many in puerto rico keep him honest and voters are keeping him honest as well. here's cnn poll. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz. before starting you should be checked for tuberculosis.
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12 days since the deadliest combat innocent in taking office, president trump broke his silence about it. today in the rose garden, twelve days after the fact, president said he'll be sending letters to their families and plans to call them later this week. he also took the position to disthe kplaern and chief and both parties that came before him. take a look. >> i've written them personal letters, they've been sent or they're going out tonight but they were during the weekend. i will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families, because i have done that traditionally. i felt very very badly, i always feel badly. it's the toughest calls i have to make, are the calls where this happens, soldiers are
killed. it's very difficult thing. now, gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day, that's a very very tough day. so the traditional way, if you look at president obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls. i like to call when it's appropriate, when i think i'm able to do it. >> president obama and other presidents, most didn't make calls. keeping them honest they did. late today, former obama and late white house photographer posted this, the president and the first lady comforting the -- now that rebuttal and plenty more came after the president's rose garden talk. however i didn't take that long for the president to try to bake away from what he said.
he dee didn't deny or say he misspoke today he shifted the blame. >> earlier you said president obama or other presidents didn't make -- >> no a lot of presidents don't, they write letters, excuse me peter, i do a combination of both. sometimes it's a very difficult thing to do but i do a combination of both. president obama, i think probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn't, i don't know that's what i was told. i can do is ask my generals. other presidents did not call, they'd write letters. and some presidents didn't do anything. i like the combination of -- i like when i can the combination of the call. >> let's remember, the president after the charlottesville tragedy says he waited two days to condemn the neo-nazi because -- let him explain why. >> it was very important to me
to get the facts out correctly. i couldn't have made -- because i didn't know all of the facts. it takes a little while to get the facts, i had to see the facts, i got to know the facts. i want the facts, i wanted to see the facts. before i make a statement i need the facts. i don't make statements that direct unless you know the fact. i want to make a statement with knowledge immaterialeded to know the facts. >> that was the president after shall feel talking about how he wants to know the facts. now, when it comes to his criticisms of former presidents, making false statements about other presidents, saying maybe they didn't make the calls maybe they didn't. i don't know, somebody told me. leo prund knows firsthand how the presidents make their calls. he served in the president obama and clinton administration. sir, when you hear about other
presidents not taking a call during these times i want to know your opinion. >> look, every president -- i've served in public lives of nine presidents. every one of them i had the pleasure to see the condolences for loved ones lost either on duty. in the military or dip mavg side. president clinton who i worked for wrote notes and visited with families of those that lost loved ones. president obama i know wrote letters, also made some calls as i recall. but more importantly, actually visited with the family. so we lost a group of seals, large group of seals with a helicopter lost in afghanistan, he came to discovoe very. we greeted not only the bodies but he met with the families tame.
each president has their own approach. i think it would be well for president trump now ten months into his administration, that rather than seeking some kind of scapegoats in the past with president obama or other presidents that he now accept responsibility for what he does and le can figure out his own approach to how he deal with loved ones who have been lost in the field of battle. i can tell you this, as secretary of defense it was the toughest job i had. i used to write written notes to the loved ones that lost someone dear in battle. it's the toughest job i've ever had. >> secretary sanders can'ted this today in a statement, quote, individual claiming former president such as they're bosses called each family of the fallen is mistaken. is president trump using this most sensitive of subjects to
both criticize his predecessors and essentially pat himself on the back? >> well, you know it just zsh it bothers me that a president of the united states, instead of accepting responsibility for what he does and what his administration does, constantly looks for other scapegoats, whether it's congress, past presidents, whether it's somebody else. he is never responsible for anything that goes wrong. and the reality is the american people understand that presidents make mistakes and misjudgments. it would be far better for him to just be honest with the american people. >> i was going to ask you about comments senator corker made recently. comparing the white house to an adult daycare, suggesting president trump is putting america on a path to world war
iii. do you share those same concerns? >> you know, not being in the middle of the warehouse it's tough to tell exactly how matters are being dealt with. obviously, it seems chaotic. it doesn't seem that there's, you know there's -- i think that john kelly has done a great job in putting a chain of command in place and better discipline within the white house. he's still dealing with a president who doesn't accept discipline easily. when that president goes out of his way to tweet and say things that are not -- are not really scrubbed by the staff and policy makers, it just makes it very difficult to try to have the appearance that this president really has a strategy behind everything he says and does. i think it is what it appears to be, which is that oftentimes
it's very half hazard, and oftentimes he's reacting to his emotions in the moment. and unfortunately, i think if this president is ever going to get a handle on the job and issues that he's dealing with, very frankly they have got to be better disciplined in the way they operate. >> mr. pruneda i appreciate your time. thank you. >> good to be with you. new polling shows how most persons were approving of handling response until it hit puerto rico. plus what the president said about puerto rico. and an update from puerto rico on where people are going to get water. so we sent that sample off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture.
how he's handling the response. that's a drop after the september polling. >> puerto rico is very tough because of the fact it's an island, but it's also tough because as you foe it was in very poor shape before the hurricanes hit. we have done -- i will say this -- >>people don't have drinking water. >> well we've delivered a tremendous amount of water. then you have to have distribution by the people on the island. >> then president claiming he's getting praise from the job he's doing in puerto rico. >> i've seen a man i had a lot of respect for, james le whit, the clinton administration the head of fema, he gave us an a-plus, it just came out. and i've always had respect for
him. he's the fema director of the clinton administration, gave us an a-plus for how we responded to the hurricane aftermath, all of the hurricanes. and that includes puerto rico. >> keeping him honest staff that is not true. don lemon called mr. wlit to see if that's what he said, he said his a-plus was on the handling of harvey and irma not maria. maria had not happened yet when he said it. again the truth. 28% of puerto rico has no access of drinking water. people are going to gremeasures collecting water polluted with chemicals. >> reporter: near a month after the town was hit, residence of this town keep tapping into this water with a sign that reads danger, do not enter. despite the warnings of a police officer they come here to fill
containers of water. few of them know this well sits in an area designated by an environment protection agency as a super fund site where the water is known to contain high levels of toxic chemicals. in the dorado super fund site there are six wells that residence have reportedly tapped into for water. one of the wells is accessed in a shopping center parking lot, there have been long lines of residence waiting to fill up what they can. the governor of puerto rico insists the water is safe, he says the territory department of health tested it. >> obviously if it's non-drinking water we're not going to be severing it. if it complies with the clean water act then it will happen. >> reporter: the protection agency team spent the weekend -- >> we're not saying someone is in immediate danger by drinking
this water, we consider it a long-term risk. >> reporter: he says they're looking for signs of industrial toxins often linked to health problems including cancer. an epa document shows late as last year, levels of those toxins were found in the ground. >> how concerned are you you about what might happen to them? >> reporter: we're concerned because it's not absolutely clean pure water. there are some contaminates. >> reporter: right after the epa team left and lock the site. juan carlos and his brother showed up, peeled back the fence and filled up dozens con tainters with water. >> you're going to drink this water? >> yes. >> reporter: you're going to drink it. you're willing to take the chance? [speaking foreign language] >> reporter: so, this is it, normal water, we'll take the
chance. if uh-huh don't drink water i'm going to die. >> reporter: juan carlos brought us to his home he lives with his family. the top floor was destroyed by the lurk. his mother says they only received two packages of water since the storm. she's been drinking the water from that potentially contaminated well for two weeks and now she says she has tum pains. >> translator: the stomach pains started two weeks ago and she's trying to ignore them. she doesn't know for sure but she thinks it might have something to do with the water she's been drinking. >> reporter: it's impossible to know for sure if the stomach pains are related. when we went back to the scene it was a different scene, there was guards at the website to prevent more people from
accessing these potential contaminated water wells. >> what do owe foe about the epa testing time line? >> reporter: we were told by epa officials that the water sample taken from those wells in question, that the biological test on those, those results could come back as early as tuesday, tomorrow. the more serious and troublesome aspects of that water testing for those chemicals compound which could include cancer causing industrial toxins, those results probably won't be back until earlier next week. anderson. coming up john mccain finished his speech and he has strong words about what he sees as direction of the company and the man leading it. when we come back. americans,
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moments ago, mccain took what some are saying is a shot at trump. joining us dana bash live from that event. what did senator mccain say? >> this was a very emotional and ray event. he was sieving the liberty medal here, got it from joe biden. most of his speech was about serving in the senate, navy and jokes. there's one particular point where he stopped and he was incredibly em fattic. listen to why. >> to fear the world where we have organized, and led the country of the century, to abandon the ideals we've advanced around the broke. our duty to remain the last -- to the sake of some half baked,
nationalism cooked up by people who had rather find scapegoats than solve problems. this is un -- this is unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that americans can sign to the as sheep of history. >> now, john mccain didn't say donald trump, didn't say steve bannon or mention any names at all. there was no question about what he was talking about. he was talking about trumpism, maybe bannonism but he was talking about his fears, anderson of what is going forward, particularly coming from a man who has traveled about 75,000 miles between the
first of the year, right around inauguration when donald trump wen into the white house, to when he got his diagnosis this summer. almost at a feverish pace trying to go from country to country, world leader to world leader to reassure them about america's leadership place in the world and it's something that he cares more about than anybody else, especially at this place and time. >> dana stick around. i want to bring in rick and gloria. gloria although he didn't mention president trump but little doubt about addressing trumpism i guess. he called half bake tirt tus nationalism. >> it was directly aimed at donald trump no doubt about it, he didn't have to mention his name. as you saw he was interrupted by applause there. he also wen on to say that the
united states is not going to thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals is absent. i think that was another swipe at donald trump. he's made no secret of his disdain for this president or made no secret of the fact he disagrees with him on occasion and happy to say so. i think the -- its returned by the president who always talks about john mccain is the man who this warted healthcare. you also have to understand mccain has been an honest and forthright guy and i think now even more so. >> senator, certainly mccain's view of the world and america's role in it very different than donald trump's? >> no i'd agree, that was certainly a swipe at certainly donald trump's national team, i wouldn't say it was a complete swipe at the trump
administration, certainly a lot of folks in that administration. they're very much aligned with john mccain and i think they're trying to way down on his side. i think what donald trump has done has been consistent with that line. he also talked about the ideology of leadership in the past. that is clearly directed at barack obama. and john mccain was very tough and you heard it on donald trump. he was equally as tough on barack obama, the sequestration, gutting of the legal department. john mccain is a -- not -- and i think he's attacking both ends. >> dana? >> i think -- i think senator, you certainly were serving in the senate and you were around more republicans who were like
john mccain is now, very internationalist. clearly what he has been saying since donald trump became the republican nominee and more so since he's become president, he's very concerned the republican party is becoming much more inward looking, much more national lisk and led by the person in the white house. you're absolutely right that mccain and other republicans and this came out in the open a couple of weeks ago when the former relations chair, bob corker said what he said about the national security team being a steady enforced. mccain agrees with that, he is a very big fan of the -- it is just the president and the rhetoric that he uses that is very concerning to somebody like mccain whose number one life's mission is to keep america's leadership role in the world. >> you know -- >> senator, the notion of, you know america's a shining city on
a hill, and something that the rest of the world, you know we're involved in the rest of the world, that is something that & prum zsh president trump doesn't really ascribe to. >> he doesn't from a rhetorical view. but if you look at his actions, i think the fc he is trying dr the fact he's trying to increase mean for the defense president, that's very much in line with what mccain wants to do. i'm not talking about the words he uses, he's drawing more of a line there, the engagement in the middle east. there's a lot of areas where the president has done things that are not consistent with the rhetoric. i understand what john mccain is doing and i agree with it, but tough look at the trump administration from the standpoint of what he's done than just pure nationalist. >> i think john mccain's whole
career in public service, and he's said this over and over again, particularly when he ran for president, you have to be devoted to something greater than yourself. and i think that his beef with donald trump is that he believes donald trump doesn't believe there's anything greater than himself. i think that john mccain believers in order to be a true leader, you have to be unselfish and that's how he define his patriotism. >> yeah. senator, gloria and dana we got to get this break in. when we come back the president's nominee knee is under fire tonight after an explosive report, alleged election drug company withdrawing money. all of that ahead.
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reporters he would declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency next week. if that sounds familiar it's because he said he'd do the same thing back in august and never did. his comments today came from a response about reporters questions of a report released yesterday. the report alleging the drug companies poored million dollars into congress to push the law that would go to the dea that would go to opioid. tom ford with more. what did this law do that's generating attention? >> the main accusation in these articles that a new law passed in 2013 striped the drug administration of a key tool battling the epidemic. specifically, these articles in "the washington post" and on 60 minutes say that law made it difficult to stop large suspicious shipments of opioids
from drug companies to areas where agents had reason to believe they were being sold to addicts. the problem for the trump administration those news outlet says the chief received donations from pharmaceutical companies that are making a great deal of money from the sale of opioids. >> there was get a opposition at the time. how did that happen if it contained an enforcement loophole. >> the investigation suggests legislation ran through a protective cover under the idea there was nothing controversial in it. the pharmaceutical industry made generation donations while the law with his being developed and passed. but we just assessed statement we also have a report here from
the pharmaceutical research and manufacturers of america. we want to be clear that pharma did not support or lobby in favor of the act we're talking about here. and reports that pharma sent $40 million lobbying this bill are unequivocally false. and say they would explain they are backing the dea and they want an independent investigation to approve that. the biggest and most important reaction came from the man who has pushed marino for this new job, president trump, who was asked about the reports and she said he's aware of this issue. >> we're going to have a major announcement probably next week on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem. and i want to get that absolutely right.
this country and, frankly, the world has a drug problem. but we have it and we're going to do something about it. i'm going to have a major announcement on that problem next week. we're going to be looking into tom. >> the president hinted he might make a change and democrats are urging just that. senator chuck schumer of new york said confirming representative marino as the drug czar is putting a wolf in charge of the hen house. and now democrats have introduced legislation to repeal the controversial opioid law. >> i spoke to claire mccaskill. >> did you have any idea about just what kind of impact this law was having? >> i didn't realize a couple things before we began visit winning some of the investigators on this report in the last few weeks. i didn't realize that these
distributors -- and so that's why i want to get this repealed as quickly as possible. we need to give the dea every tool possible not make it harder for them. >> how does a bill like this get passed? red flags seem to have been raised by irholder yet it passe >> they had good expert help in that they hired people out of the dea to work for the first time. they kept wearing down the folks at the dea. they need to work with industry. new york ci no, not so much. if industry is spending 9 million opioid pills into a community of fewer than a thousand people, then they need
to be held can listen to we don't need to change the zafrd to work with them more closely. it's unfortunate that the dea backed down and kind of said okay, this is better than what you originally proposed. that's actually what happened. we have a chance to fix it. >> would it be unreasonable for someone to think this isn't an isolated incident? >> i don't think there's any question they should worried about it. there are unanimous consent bills to get through, but they have been vetted pretty thoroughly. i would say this is in some ways an outliar, but pharma is a big player, they are one of the biggest on capitol hill. i believe if you just look at the medicare part d program, the notion congress would pass a bill that they are not allowed to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices on prescription drugs? that's outrageous.
that was pharma. that was pharma doing really hard work on capitol hill to have their way. this is another good example. >> do you degree that the president should withdraw his nomination? >> i could never support tom marino after this and i'm optimistic most of my colleagues would agree. i was worried when the president originally cut the budget of the office that marino was nominated to hold to nothing. they since reveresed that slightly, but the bottom line is we need a strong leader there that understands that the opioid is the public health crisis our country faces right now. it is as big as any public health crisis we've had in our lifetimes and it's all hands on deck to help the dea make sure we got treatments beds available and helping law enforcement. >> how much support do you expect that call to get. the grip the drug industry has
in congress doesn't seem any less now than when the law passed a year ago? >> everyone is feeling pressure about the opioid crisis and we've done a lot here on capitol hill trying to address it. because this is impacting so many families across our country, every single senator and every single member of congress has tragedies they can speak of that they know about in their state. and so i do think this is one of these times where you're going to have to be a collision between doing what's right and, frankly, what the big drug companies want you to do. i have a feeling we're going to prevail on this and get this repealed. >> senator, appreciate your time. thank you. when we come back, tpresidet trump says he and mitch mcconnell are closure than ever. how long will that last? with advil, you'll ask
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